While he’s an electrical engineer by trade, Taner Howard of Denver was bit by the history bug at an early age. He was staying with a great aunt of his when he was about nine years old and on a trip to Walmart found something that changed his life.
“I saw one of those family history books that you fill in and I told my aunt, ‘let’s get that,’” he said. “We bought it and went back to her house and she started to tell me about her family history. Then from here I went to talk to my other grandparents, then got more and more family history.”
Beyond his own family history, Howard branched out into the Denver community asking about people, places and things that happened in the past. Howard maintains at Facebook page, Lincoln County NC History, where he shares historical pictures and anecdotes. He also does public talks on the history of Lincoln County. He’ll be doing one of these talks on the history of Denver on Monday evening under the arbor at Rock Springs Campground. This is part two of a presentation he did last year at the campground.
“Last year I was going to do a history of Denver in general and I was intending to get through the whole thing but that didn’t happen,” he said. “I started with the Revolutionary War and the history of Beatty’s Ford, Catawba Springs, the founding of Dry Pond and how it turned into Denver and stopped at about 1910. This year I plan on picking back up at 1910 and going through the formation of Lake Norman in the early 1960s.”
Like any historian, Howard continually digs for information and gets very excited about every tidbit he finds.
“I finally found the story on the Proctor Store which was a famous store that was in Denver,” he said. “I found that it burned down in 1926 but there’s a little discrepancy between the official story and the story everyone remembers. It seems there was a family dispute and some insurance money was involved. It might have been arson within the family.”
Howard said that often with these talks, the people that know the most are the ones who show up but he’d like to see more that are new to the area don’t know the history so they can learn more.
Howard’s talk starts at 5 p.m. and is sponsored by the Eastern Lincoln Historical Society. It will take place at the arbor at Rock Spring Campgrounds in Denver. There will also be music by the Mariners from Unity Presbyterian Church and light refreshments offered after his talk. Rock Springs Campground is located 6831 Campground Road in Denver. There is no charge and the public is welcome to attend.